Humour is fast giving way to impatience as I hear the stories circulating regarding my fencing of the L-shaped land adjacent to the office from which I operated Travelscope in Maffra.
I bought the land in December 1974 from the then owners, the estate of P.B. Semmens.
Since then,despite paying rates, upkeep and so on, I have allowed the public to park their cars on the land and allowed it to be a walkway for those who either worked at Murray Goulburn or who worked at businesses fronting Johnson St.
While I was still working I have had people place timber with nails protruding under the tyres of my car and been abused many times if my own car created a problem for others parking there.
I have had a large semi run over a water pipe on the nature strip which cost me dearly to repair.
After an accident in 2010, I found it necessary to close Travelscope and approached a nearby car dealer, suggesting the owner might like to buy the land to display his used cars.
He thanked me, but declined the offer and has obviously been permitted by council to use the footpath and large area of land facing Foster and Little Johnson Sts as a used car yard.
I then approached the owners of premises used as a hairdresser, but he also declined, although the proprietor of the hairdressing salon has been understanding and supportive of my desire to fence and ultimately sell the land.
There have been complaints from a local bank. I believe the words were along the lines of “a lot of people are not going to be happy about this”.
I have over the years had overtures from large franchised drive-through companies to buy the adjacent land and the Travelscope premises, but when they have learned that the council in its foresight (or lack of) had leased out that large parcel of land in Little Johnson St as a machinery sales and storage area, they realized that my land and premises was of inadequate size for their requirements.
My step father taught me by example that people hate to be proven wrong, and the slogan ‘if you saw something say something’ comes to mind.
An appropriate tail to such gossip would be ‘If you said something, then unsay it’.